[Resolved] Berthel Fisher Company / Inheritance Scam
Anthony Bauer, “financial advisor, ” SIP Wealth Management in Minneapolis and of Berthel Fisher, violated his ethical and legal responsibilities as the “financial advisor” to our deceased father, Dale Sheets, for whom he set up various financial instruments. As soon as Dale died, he collaborated with Dale’s daughter to make beneficiary changes to what Dale set up; diverting more than $400, 000 he’d left his other children, to her.
Our father knew he was dying of cancer. The income of his estate – which included one million dollars just awarded by the court for our mother’s care - was to be used for our seriously brain damaged mother during her lifetime, and to pass according to what Dale set up through beneficiary designations, to his four children after our mother died.
As soon as our father passed away, Anthony Bauer collaborated with one of our sisters, Catherine Sheets Rice Tisdall, to begin making secret changes in the beneficiaries our father had set up – impacting $400, 000 or more. One brother’s entire inheritance was taken, cheating him and his two children of the entire portion his father left him. A second son had a substantial portion of his inheritance taken as well.
Since our sister was now his client, Bauer made money managing her money. The more he assisted her in transferring to herself, the more he made.
During this time, Bauer was on probation for possession of drugs. He declared bankruptcy. He has already been made to pay restitution to other clients for his actions in other situations, as per the records of FINRA, the organization regulating securities.
Anthony Bauer, agent, disregarded the laws governing a power of attorney in Minnesota by assisting Catherine Sheets Rice Tisdall in these transfers.
After Barbara died, when David Sheets asked if his bequest was in line with what his father had set up, Bauer said lied to him and said yes even though Bauer knew Catherine had directed a substantial portion of it to herself.
The mother in this case was paralyzed and unable to speak or write. As per medical experts, she was mentally incompetent. Bauer claimed he followed Catherine's directions according to the wishes of the mother. It was impossible for the mother to have or communicate any wishes. The judge found there was no evidence of any direction by either parent, under any circumstances, to make beneficiary changes.
We believe Bauer had a fiduciary responsibility to our father to respect his legal directives, and to know, honor and observe the laws governing a POA after our father died, especially when making the changes that robbed us of our inheritance and benefited him financially. When our sister asked him to make these changes, he should have said no, it’s illegal and unethical.
Bauer’s employers, SIP Wealth Management and Berthel, Fisher and Company, are also culpable in this matter. They are responsible for ensuring that the “financial advisors” who represent them, adhere to the law and to the ethical guidelines of this profession.
Dearborn, Integrity and Jackson National financial companies are also culpable. They made these beneficiary changes without checking to see that they complied with Minnesota law. Anyone claiming to hold a power of attorney and making beneficiary changes that benefited them personally, should have triggered all kinds of alarms.
All companies, and Bauer, have denied any responsibility for what they did.
We have filed complaints with all relevant regulatory bodies. Please consider our experience with Anthony Bauer and with these companies before trusting him or them, with your money, especially if a vulnerable elderly person is involved.
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